Now that we are in the middle of the holiday season, there are treats galore to be eaten. So which ones are the worst for your teeth?
Suckers, or sugar containing lozenges.
Every time you eat sugar, it takes your mouth about 30 minutes to return to a normal, non-cavity causing environment. With sticky candies, that time is actually even longer, since the stuff in your saliva meant to break these carbohydrates down has a hard time rinsing them off of the surface of your teeth. The areas between your teeth and the deep grooves and pits in your back teeth are especially prone to increased cavity production from these sticky treats. Candies to avoid or eat only on occasion include Dots, Swedish fish, gummy bears, Mike & Ike’s and more.
Suckers and lozenges also prolong the exposure period of sugar and acids in your mouth. But chewing these sweets is not always the answer either since the sticky hard pieces get stuck in your teeth in the same way as sticky candies do.
And the absolute WORST candies? The sticky sour ones. Think Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, Trolli Brites Sour, Sour Gummy Worms, etc. Not only are they full of sugar like other candies, the sour kind are also extremely acidic so it’s like a double attack against your tooth enamel.
So which candies are best? Soft chocolates that melt in your mouth are relatively easy for your saliva to remove and are really not any worse for your teeth than eating any other carbohydrate rich snack. Also candies that are lower in sugars or are sweetened with things like artificial sugar-alcohols like xylitol are also preferrable. Just be careful with some of those artificial sweetners as they can have unpleasant side effects when you eat too many (see here and read the comments here if you are feeling curious/brave)!